Get the lowdown on Student Volunteering Week

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Phew. We had a brilliant Student Volunteering Week (SVW) at DSU. Were you involved? Or want to see what we got up to? Then you’re in the right place. Here’s our round-up of the week...

Each day we introduced you to one brilliant volunteer from DSU. From the Dance Society to Leicestershire Police, and from Oxfam to MyUniPal we showed you how you can get involved with anything and everything and log your hours in the process. Click here to see all seven stories.

We kicked off the Monday of Student Volunteering Week with our very own DMU Steppers heading into a local Humberstone school to perform to primary school pupils. After tasting teaching for the first time, they’re planning to head back to schools and create their own ‘mini steppers’. How cool is that?

We also hosted sessions in the Lounge with charities Coping With Cancer, Action Homeless, DMU's UniBoob Team and the Lead Your Own Volunteering group to show you how easy it is to get involved with volunteering. This saw some brilliant conversations, and from this we have had two brand new student-led volunteering applications come in looking at supporting the DMU Dance Society in schools by volunteering and working with Cheek2Cheek.

On Monday evening DSU Community Events Frontrunner Caylee Gutsell and Rahil Pabari from our student-led media group Demon Media headed to City Hall in London to showcase their contribution to SVW’s Midlands campaign – a short video explaining why people volunteer – to a number of high profile guests. You can view the video here. More on that later...

Tuesday saw us host reaction and coordination games on the Campus Centre steps designed to test people’s brains and also to get them thinking about the challenges they can do to raise money for charity. Not only did we get a load of you involved, but almost 30 students signed up on the spot to commit themselves to the wider charity challenges, such as skydiving for LOROS.

Wednesday was a biggie. We launched our ‘History of DSU’ exhibition highlighting RAG, charity and volunteering events from the 1930s right up to the present day with the help of Researcher and Curator Frontrunner at DSU and third-year DMU History student James Edwards. Over the week hundreds of students, DMU and DSU staff members and interested members of the public stopped by to look at memories from the past as well as our plans for the future.

The morning also saw a nationwide social media Thunderclap, as part of the Student Volunteering Network's Midlands region, and coordinated by DSU's volunteering office highlighting that very video produced by our Demon Media volunteers. The message was tweeted, shared and posted by more than a hundred accounts at once from eight institutions across the Midlands – and more – and reached a possible 233,755 people.

The day also saw 'Walking Wednesday' where students were given the opportunity to head into the city centre with members of DSU's volunteering team to visit some of the organisations we work with. They found out more about them, saw how close they are to campus and ultimately confirmed just how much of a change volunteers can make – one student signed up to volunteer with care hospice LOROS there and then!

Thursday of Student Volunteering Week saw a whole host of events at DSU, with the Painting Project come to The Lounge.

Volunteers painted – with brushes and bare hands alike – to produce a total of 24 paintings that will be donated to The Bridge, a charity who help rehouse vulnerable people in Leicester. The paintings will go into the new homes or hostel rooms of previously homeless people from across the city.

The team also made an appearance and DMU’s Business and Law faculty’s ‘Choices Fair’ which gives students the opportunity to see what is available to them to bolster their CV while at university. There were plenty of sign-ups for DSU Volunteering and the team were on hand to offer advice to students wanting to get involved with offering their time for good causes both across Leicester and beyond.

The Street Law Society also volunteered their time with local charity Action Homeless and delivered a series of informative and interactive sessions with various residents.

We rounded off Friday with more than 50 students celebrating their achievements by heading to The Lounge for our Reward Day and thank you event – all having been involved in the week’s activities.

All of whom who attended received a coveted Student Volunteering Week certificate for their efforts – and can be put on their HEAR Reports – and enjoyed free food and drink and chatted about their efforts both this week and throughout the year.

Finally the weekend drew to a close with our annual Sleep Out challenge for Action Homeless.

15 DMU students and DSU staff took part in the challenge which started at 7pm on Saturday 27 February until 6am Sunday on the Campus Centre steps. The aim was to raise awareness for Action Homeless through experiencing what a homeless environment is like and was also a great opportunity to raise some vital funds for the charity.

The Sleep Out was a great conclusion to an extremely successful Student Volunteering Week at DSU.  From charity challenges to painting projects, microvolunteering to a history of DSU exhibition – the week had something for everyone. It’s a massive thank you from us to everyone who got involved!

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